BFGoodrich’s new muddies
ThE custom wrap is done. The spare wheel is mounted on the roof rack. The watertank and jerry cans on the roof rack have been replaced by two smaller ammunition boxes.
We’re as close to finishing this project as dammit is to swearing but it’s not quite done yet. Those beautiful Racing Hart Concepts off-road rims and the bulky 285/70 R70 BFGoodrich mud terrains certainly look the part but are just a whisker too wide for our liking. We’re really talking a whisker here but our arcane selfs are not happy with the look of it.
So we’ve been shopping around for some suitable wheel arch extension solutions. There are moulded plastic ones available, yes, but they are wider than we want, and they require that holes be drilled in the Ford’s body, which we don’t want to do (the vehicle has to be restored to a 100% original condition after this test).
We’ve also paid a visit to specialist rubber extrusion company, Pro Auto Rubber, for a look at the company’s PR165 universal rubber extrusion product, as used on double cab bakkies. The product seemed perfect but the problem came in with the Everest’s rear doors, and the rear wheel arch lines that runs through them.
There is no way of attaching the rubber product to the rear door sections. So that plan was scrapped.
We’re still on the hunt for the right bits to complete the Everest projects (without drilling holes or cutting off bits of car).
Meanwhile, the Everest has been racking up the miles doing something it was not really designed to do: negotiating the daily traffic grind around Johannesburg. The good news is that the cabin remains extremely comfortable. The SYNC3 infotainment system is still a highlight in the leatherclad cabin as is the smooth powertrain and the 470Nm of torque from the five-cylinder turbodiesel engine.
On the flipside, the bigger wheels and extra drag and weight have not been kind to the fuel consumption... in the traffic the big Ford drinks around 15 litres/100km. On the open road, if you drive at 120km/h, it drops down to about 13 litres/100km.
Another surprise has been the BFGoodrich mud terrain tyres, especially from a comfort point of view. In the past we’ve fitted some mud terrains to 4×4s that were so noisy inside the cabin we had to crank up the sound system to maximum to try to drone out the rumble from the muds. BFGoodrich’s own previous generation mud terrains were as hardy as anything but quite noisy on the road.
The good news is that the latest KM3 mud terrains, as fitted to the Everest, is – considering the aggressive tread pattern – remarkably quiet on the road. It’s only when you open the driver’s window that you can hear a bit of a rumble, and only on certain road surfaces. If you close the Ford’s windows, you really have to listen carefully to hear any rumble from those 285s.
The KM3s feature CoreGard Max technology to ensure maximum sidewall protection, and new and modern KrawlTEK tread compounds that’s not only said to ensure better grip in tough off-road conditions, but results in the lower levels of tyre noise.
We’ve been champing at the bit to take the Ford offroading to test those BFGs to the full.
Looks like that time is (finally) around the corner.